A Salient Era A period that will be forever remembered by the American people. During the years of 1850-1914 Americans experienced both devastation and depression. For example, the Civil War where there was no true winner when it ended. Americans faced reconstruction physically due to the battles taken place in their cities and towns, and mentally because of the loss of loved ones.
Some other events and people that affected this era was the Dredd Scott Decision, John Brown, with the most important being Abraham Lincoln because of his position as Commander in Chief (“Division” … 60-473). An important person living during this era was Thomas J. Jackson because he was one of the most important generals of the Confederacy during the Civil War. The event that had a major impact during this time on Americans was the Civil War. It killed more Americans than all the other wars America was involved in since, combined. Lastly, one technology that effected Americans were the railroads. It enabled Americans and goods to move quickly and efficiently, as well as playing a big role in the Civil War. The Civil War, Thomas J.
Jackson, and railroads are prominent figures and events from the 1850-1914 era that reflect how this time period was salient. One of the most salient people of the era was Thomas J. Jackson. Stonewall Jackson was born on January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, Virginia. The future Civil War hero was raised by his uncle, and then later enrolled at West Point in 1842 (“Stonewall Jackson” 1). Shortly after graduating from West Point, Jackson was deployed to Mexico as a Lieutenant with the 1st U. S. Artillery (1). When the Mexican American War was over he accepted professorship at the Virginia Military Institute (1).
While teaching at the Military Institute the Civil War broke out and Jackson following his home state of Virginia, joined the Confederacy. Without any hesitation the Confederate States of America enrolled Jackson as Brigadier General under Joseph E. Johnson (2). But sadly, as the war was close to an end, Jackson died from an innocent friendly fire by a North Carolina Regiment soldier in 1863 (3). The South admired this man and will forever mourn the death of their Civil War hero. Ironically, the impacts of Stonewall Jackson weren’t necessarily positive.
By being a great General of the Confederacy he is a cause of thousands of death, including the men he led. Jackson was such a great military strategist that he actually prolonged the war because of his expertise in the art of war and military tactics (2-3). Stonewall impacted the families of loved ones who became wounded veterans, and of soldiers who never returned home. Stonewall was also a great motivator who was able to make his men be able to do anything without any questions asked. Stonewall Jackson made a few tactical errors during the Civil War.
The death toll of the Confederacy was substantially greater than the death toll of the Union. Coincidentally shortly after he died, the Confederacy was unable to function without him and lost the war. On the bright side, Jackson known as a great General and the respect that he earned gave the Southern States hope and pride. Also the reputation Jackson received during the years of the Civil War as a hero lifted the moral of the soldiers (2-3). Jackson was known and will forever be remembered as a salient Civil War hero in both the Confederacy and the Union.
Undeniably the most salient event of the era was the Civil War. The war began April 12, 1861 when Confederate soldiers attacked the Union base, Ft. Sumter, located off the coast of South Carolina (“Civil War Facts” 1). The death toll during the raid of Ft. Sumter does not even make a dent in the final total death toll by the end of the war. By the end of the war 620,000 soldiers have died serving (2). This war is known as the bloodiest was in American history.
The causes of this tragic war is subjective to some, but most have agreed the war started over the National government getting involved in whether or ot newly added states will be either allowed to have slaves or slave-free (3). But, after 4 years this gruesome war finally ended in 1865 (1). This war will forever haunt the ones who served and fought and the families who lost loved ones. Despite the struggles of this salient war, the United States for some had some newly gained privileges and benefits. Before the war, the belief all men are created equal only applied to white males.
So, in 1865 when the war was over the Southern States had no option but to sign the 13th Amendment, which banned all slavery anywhere in the U. S. (“How The Civil War Changed Our Lives” 5). We also saw war up close and personal. The Civil War supplied the people a new perception and understanding on war, reporting the war’s most important topics. It gave politicians insight and families the hope of seeing their loved ones once again (4). Before the War Between States, state sovereignty trumped federal power more than today. It took a war to unify our Nation properly and become indivisible. Despite there being few relative, positive impacts from the war, the war still brought the country to its knees.
Railroads during the mid to late 1800’s played a big role during this salient era. Railroads have already been around for twenty years, but by 1850 there are more than nine thousand miles of track (“Railroads” 1). The eastern side of the United States has already been adopting railroads as their main source of transportation. States such as New York, Philadelphia, and Michigan have interconnected their railroads they had specifically only in their states. Chicago then joined the new trend having a connection of railroads from the east.
These railroads reached all the way to the Mississippi (1). Once the Civil War broke out the, the Union shut of the railroad connection to the South which caused an increase in the railroad production west of the Mississippi and to the West Coast (4). The first transcontinental railroad was built by the government by land grants and loans. Later the production of the transcontinental railroad was built by two competing companies. The two companies finally met and connected their tracks on 1869 (4). Railroads during this era were also a big factor for both sides of the civil war.
The locomotives transported troops, equipment, and even served as a purpose of communication (“Railroads Critical Role in the Civil War” 1). Railroads were highly valued during this time from all perspectives and standpoints. Although railroad production took many years to establish, the business of railroads impacted and extended the market of commerce (“Effect of Railroads on the United States” 1). It gave more opportunities to businesses looking to expand their companies and sell their products to a larger market.
The business owner was not the only one given opportunities, so was the buyer which was given a market with more viable products, and caused a greater demand for goods (2). Railroads didn’t just stimulate commerce, but also facilitate settlement. Families were able to travel far distances to start new beginnings. New settlements along the route of railroads were given a larger market for goods (1). Another impact of railroads on the United States were the tying of cities and towns (1). Cities were able to work together more efficiently, and gave the country a sense of binding and unity.
Trade and the transportation of goods and people were benefactors of the use of railroads between the interconnected cities. Railroads have impacted the lives of millions during the era of mid to late 1800’s. It provided opportunities, distant travel, and even tied our nation together. Railroads are one of the most salient pieces of technology our Nation has ever utilized. As one can see many people and events during the era of 1850-1914 were salient, but impacted and were involved in a devastating period. The Civil War was the biggest impact on our nation during the salient era, both America and Americans took their share of the hits.
More than half a million soldiers died, especially those who had loved ones waiting for them at home, along with many towns and cities were left in crumbles. The War between States will always be considered one of the most important wars in our nation’s history. Railroads were an integral asset in both western expansion and the Civil War. They were either benefiting both sides of the war or giving families new beneficial opportunities. The railroads gave our Country a sense of unity and connection, that helped tie the nation back together especially after a dreadful war.
One very crucial person involved in the Civil War was Thomas J. Jackson, who is considered a General, a hero, and to many a man willing to sacrifice Americans. Ruthless in his actions Jackson gave no mercy to his enemies, and was the cause of the many deaths in the Union. As stated earlier, this era consisting of many important events and prominent figures will cause this era to be forever remembered. Clearly, during the years of 1850-1914, the United States went through a struggling period of many salient figures, events, and technological advances.